'A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia' by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (1980)


Introduction. Rhizome.

Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd. [...] We have assigned clever pseudonyms to prevent recognition. [...] To reach, not the point where one no longer says I, but the point where it is no longer of any importance whether one says I. We are no longer ourselves.
A book has neither object nor subject; it is made of variously formed matters... . To attribute the book to a subject is to overlook this working of matters, and the exteriority of their relations. It is to fabricate a beneficent God to explain geological movements.
In a book, as in all things, there are lines of articulation or segmentarity, strata and territories; ... .comparative rates of flow on these lines produce phenomena of relative slowness and viscosity, ... . A book is an assemblage of this kind, and as such is unattributable. It is a multiplicity... . One side of a machine assemblage faces the strata, which doubtless make it a kind of organism... ; it also has a side facing a body without organs, which is continually dismantling the organism. ... What is the body without organs of a book? ... As an assemblage, a book has only itself, in connection with other assemblages and in relation to other bodies without organs. We will never ask what a book means, as signified or signifier; we will not look for anything to understand in it. We will ask what it functions with, in connection with what other things it does or does not transmit intensities, in which other multiplicities its own are inserted and metamorphosised, and with what bodies without organs it makes its own converge. A book exists only through the outside and on the outside. ... We have been criticized for over quoting literary authors. But when one writes, the only question is which other machine the literary machine can be plugged into, must be plugged into in order to work.
A first type of book is the root-book. The tree is already the image of the world, or the root the image of the world-tree. This is the classical book, as noble, signifying, and subjective organic interiority (the strata of the book). The law of the book is the law of reflection, the One that becomes two. ... in nature, roots are taproots with a more multiple, lateral, and circular system of ramification, rather than a dichotomous one. .... Even the book as a natural reality is a taproot, with its pivotal spine and surrounding leaves.